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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

9.1-28 Using Motor Vehicle or Vessel without the Owner's Permission -- 53a-119b (a) and (b)

New, June 13, 2008

The defendant is charged [in count __] with using a (motor vehicle / vessel)1 without the owner's permission. The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person is guilty of using a (motor vehicle / vessel) without the owner's permission when (he/she) <insert appropriate subsection:>

  • 53a-119b (a) (1) and (b) (1): operates or uses, or causes to be operated or used, any motor vehicle unless (he/she) has the consent of the owner.
  • 53a-119b (a) (2) and (b) (2): obtains the consent of the owner to the use of (his/her) (motor vehicle / vessel) by fraud or fraudulent means, statement or representations.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Operated or used a motor vehicle or vessel
The first element is that the defendant operated or used [or caused to be operated or used] a (motor vehicle / vessel).

["Vessel" means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.2]

A person "operates" a motor vehicle when, while in the vehicle, (he/she) intentionally does any act or makes use of any mechanical or electrical agency that alone or in sequence sets in motion the motive power of the vehicle. A person acts "intentionally" with respect to conduct when (his/her) conscious objective is to engage in such conduct. <See Intent: General, Instruction 2.3-1>.

Element 2 - Owner's consent
[<If defendant is charged under (a) (1) or (b) (1):> The second element is that the defendant did not have the consent of the owner.3 "Owner" means not only the lawful owner, but any person who has a superior right to that of the offender. This would include persons who have possession or custody of the motor vehicle with the permission or authority of the true owner, such as repair persons and employees.]

[<If defendant is charged under (a) (2) or (b) (2):> The second element is that the defendant obtained the consent of the owner to the use of the (motor vehicle / vessel) by fraud or fraudulent means, statement or representations. This means that the defendant made some statement or representation of some fact or circumstance that was not true and that was calculated to mislead.]

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant operated or used a (motor vehicle / vessel), and 2) (he/she) (did not have the consent of the owner / fraudulently obtained the consent of the owner).

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of using a (motor vehicle / vessel) without the owner's permission, then you shall find the defendant guilty. On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
_______________________________________________________

1 Subsections (a) and (b) are identical except for the specification of motor vehicle or vessel.

2 Defined in General Statutes 15-127.

3 If the defendant was a passenger in the car, the state must prove that no one else in the car had the owner's permission to use the car and that the defendant knew that such permission was lacking. In re Adalberto S., 27 Conn. App. 49, 52-55, cert. denied, 222 Conn. 903 (1992). In such a case, the instruction should be tailored to include that 1) no one in the car had the owner's permission to use the car, and 2) that the defendant knew that no one had permission.

Commentary

Subsequent offenders
General Statutes 53a-119b (d) provides for an enhanced sentence if the defendant has previously been convicted of one or more violations of 53a-119b. Pursuant to Practice Book 36-14, the prior conviction must be charged in a Part B information so that the jury is unaware of the prior conviction during the trial on the current charge. If a guilty verdict is returned, the jury must then be instructed on the second part of the information. See Subsequent Offenders, Instruction 2.12-2.
 


 

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